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Yobe police station attack, four policemen, five gunmen killed

By The Citizen

A new wave of violence claimed four policemen as gunmen attacked the Divisional Police Station of Babangida in Yobe State Thursday.

The Yobe State Police Commissioner, Alhaji Sanui Rufai, who confirmed the development in Damaturu, said that five of the suspected gunmen were also killed. Babangida is 50 kilometres north of Damaturu.

An eyewitness Thursday told The Guardian in a telephone interview that the gunmen opened fire at the policemen at the station during a clash that lasted for over an hour, before men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) from Damaturu reinforced the repelling of the attackers that fled towards Bursari and Bayamairi towns at 3.45 a.m. yesterday.

He said the gunmen did not attack or kill any of the residents of Babangida town.

Rufai said four of his officers and men were at 1.00 a.m. yesterday killed, while two others sustained gunshot wounds and they were taken to an undisclosed hospital for treatment.

Rufai said: 'We were able to kill five of the insurgents and injured many others, but the hoodlums who were in high number went away with their casualties as the authentic number could not be ascertained, as I speak to you now.'

He noted that this week had been a challenging one for security men in the state, adding: 'Our officers and men will not rest on their oars in the search for sustained peace in the state.

'We will continue to discharge our responsibility as security men by ensuring that law-abiding citizens have a conducive atmosphere to carry out their legitimate business.'

Yesterday's attacks and killings came barely four days after the JTF and the insurgents clashed at Tumbulgi village of Geidam Local Council, where soldiers and four of the suspected insurgents were killed.

The Guardian also learnt that insurgents in December 2001 attacked and torched the Babangida Local Council secretariat complex and the Divisional Police Station.

Meanwhile, the newly-elected President of the Council of Unification of Cherubim and Seraphim Churches, Primate Ade Ademisokun Turton, has blamed the Boko Haram insurgency in the northern part of the country on 'the politics of presidential contest.'

The cleric spoke in Akure, Ondo State capital yesterday, noting: 'If President Goodluck Jonathan declares today that he is not interested in a second term of office, these terrorists would be demobilised immediately.'

Turton, who is the founder of the Success Gate C&S Ministry in Akure, alleged that the northern political elite were the ones behind the Boko Haram insurgency with the sole aim of recapturing the Presidency.

According to Turton, who addressed a press conference with other leaders of the C&S movement to herald the inauguration of the council with the mandate of unifying all the sects of the movement, it had become a historical fact in Nigeria to use violence to attain the presidency.

He said: 'It was the intrigue and the fight that greeted the annulment of the June 12, 1983 election that led to the emergence of Obasanjo, a Yoruba, as president in 1999 and the armed militancy in the creeks of Niger Delta that produced Jonathan, an Ijaw, as the current president.

'So naturally, the North too is foisting its own violence on the country even though they hide under the cloak of religion by killing Christians. The North is using violence to reclaim power.'

On whether it is desirable to offer amnesty to the insurgents as proposed by the Federal Government to achieve peace, the cleric said: 'It is obvious that you don't give amnesty to faceless people.

'The President wants a second term so he will give them amnesty and even send them abroad for training with tax-payers' money for those that they have killed to die in vain. But at the end of the day, Nigeria will suffer greatly.'